Tips for beach weddings on the Central Coast

The Central Coast of NSW is renown for its amazing beaches, and also for its amazing beach weddings. It doesn’t get any better than saying your vows on the sand, in the salty air, with the ocean behind you. So to make sure everything goes smoothly, here are some tips and advice on how to plan an awesome beach wedding on the Central Coast.

Location, location, location

Like the real estate saying goes… location, location, location. And the location of your beach wedding ceremony is probably the most important factor to consider.

Choose a location and a beach that is not too busy. For instance, it’s a bad idea to have a beach wedding on a Saturday, in the middle of summer at Terrigal Beach. There literally will not be any room for you to set up a ceremony, and your ceremony will get lost in a sea of beach towels, eskies and umbrellas. Any “flagged” swimming beach is likely to be very busy, especially during those warmer months. A busy beach also means very little parking, which will directly affect your guests.

Luckily the Central Coast has over 80 kms of beaches, so you just need to choose a less popular beach. If you’re planning your wedding a year or more out, try to check out beaches the same month you are thinking to see how busy they really get. You want the location to be somewhat private and away from the crowds. You don’t really want a group of tourists, dressed in their budgie smugglers, watching you say your intimate vows.

If you have Grandparents or older family members, another factor to consider is the access to the beach. And their mobility to walk across sand. You may have to consider a ceremony overlooking the beach at a reserve.

Access may also be required if you have hired chairs and tables, as your supplier need to drive their van to the beach.

Get the location right and you will be right to your way to having the perfect beach wedding on the Central Coast.

Photo Jonathan Borba

Dress code for a beach wedding

It is a wedding, but you and your guests need to dress accordingly for a beach wedding. Wear clothes that make you comfortable and complement the location.

For Brides:

  • Don’t wear a huge princess dress with a two-metre train. It doesn’t look right, it will make it very hard for you to walk through the sand, it will pick up seaweed and sand. These more traditional wedding dresses with a bodice and full skirt are often very heavy and very hot, particularly in the warmer months.
  • Wear a dress shorter in length or at least floor length with no train. Look for something light and flowy as you will be much more comfortable and it will suit your surroundings.
  • No heels. I have seen Brides walk on the sand in heels, but trust me… you should ditch the heels. Heels and sand really don’t mix. Wear flats, sandals or go barefoot and feel the sand between your toes. Although remember that the sand can get real
  • Consider wearing your hair up. It can get windy on the coast, and having your hair up will mean one less thing to worry about on the day.

For Grooms:

  • A three-piece suit really doesn’t suit a central coast beach wedding. Consider going less formal and think cooler. Ditch either the jacket or the tie. Consider a vest instead if you still want to look a little formal. There are lots of stylish ways to dress that don’t require a dinner suit.
  • The central coast is a warm, sub-tropical climate, so try to not to choose thick fabrics. Black absorbs the heat, while lighter colours reflect the sunlight.

For your guests:

  • On their wedding invitation, tell them the dress code and tell them if the ceremony is on the sand or not. Smart casual works well for a beach wedding.
  • Create a shoe station for your guests. So they can swap their shoes for thongs or sandals. It will be a nice gift for them and I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated.
  • Have sunscreen available for your guests.
  • You can even have sunglasses for your guests.
perfect beach wedding on the central coast
Photo  Sweet Ice Cream Photography

Permits

For all outdoor wedding ceremonies not located within a venue or a private property, it is best to assume that you will need a permit. For beach weddings on the Central Coast, you will need to make an application either through the council or the National Park.

Shade

The sun on the Central Coast can be brutally hot at times, particularly in Summer. Think about your older guests and young kids that are attending your wedding.

Try to find a shady spot on the beach near some rocks or under some trees if possible. You and your guests will be grateful and shade is beautiful for photos.

Have fans and parasols available for your guests. The parasols will offer shade from the sun and can also protect guests if it happens to rain on your wedding day.

Have water or cold drinks available. Look after your guests, particularly during warm weather.

What time should you have your beach wedding?

The traditional time to have a wedding in NSW is around 3 – 4 pm. This time will vary depending on the time of year and how much travel is required between the ceremony and reception location. This allows time for the ceremony, hugs and kisses with friends and family, some family photos and then some photos with your bridal party.

Avoid the middle of the day for your beach ceremony, particularly in the warmer months. It is generally far too hot, and the middle of the day is not a great time for photos… ask your photographer. The light is harsh and unflattering.

If you are having a summer wedding, have your ceremony much, much later in the day. In summer the sun doesn’t set till 8 or 9 pm, so you can safely have a 5 pm or later ceremony and avoid the heat of the day.

If you are getting married in winter on the central coast, I would say you can safely have your ceremony any time of the day that suits you best. The sun is low in the sky, softer and more golden.

Scheduling your ceremony an hour or two before sunset, allows enough time for the ceremony and for some sunset photos on the beach.

In choosing your times, also take into account the tides and try to avoid high tide and a rising tide if possible. Low tide will open up more beach for you. High tide will flood much of the beach and potentially but off parts of the beach and areas for photos afterwards. Keep an eye out for King Tides as these will be higher than normal events. A rising tide is slightly more dangerous in that your ceremony could get washed away, if you set up too close to the water’s edge.

Ask your photographer what time they would recommend for you and for the location that you have chosen.

perfect beach wedding on the central coast
Photo  Sweet Ice Cream Photography

Sound

The beach can be a noisy place with waves crashing onto the shoreline. So check with your celebrant to see if they have a microphone and speaker. If it is a very small wedding, you may get away without one. But any standard size wedding will need a microphone so that everyone can hear the ceremony. Their microphone should also have one of those foam, furry, or fluffy ‘wind muffs’ attached on the end of it. If it is a windy day and your celebrant doesn’t have a ‘wind muff’ on their microphone, all you will hear is the wind amplifying though the speakers.

If you have any musicians playing, they may also need some amplification to be heard.

The weather

The weather for any outdoor wedding ceremony is always at the mercy of the weather gods. You may have the most glorious weather or you may get a severe thunderstorm. You just never know. But it is best to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

So have a back up plan or location if it is torrential rain on your wedding day. Just crossing your fingers and praying won’t fix the problem and you might find yourself saying your vows in a less than ideal location.

Often you can use your reception venue or even your accommodation venue. But try to organise something.

The wind is also a factor that most people will overlook when planning a beach ceremony. It can get very, very windy on the coast, but it depends entirely on what direction the wind is coming from. One part of the beach may be extremely windy, while around the corner of the beach it may be sheltered from the wind.

If the forecast is predicting windy conditions, it is worth scouting out some alternate locations on the beach which may offer shelter.

Photo Pablo Heimplatz

A ceremony on a beautiful beach is the perfect way to tie the knot with your partner. So feel free to bookmark this page, so you can refer back to it on how to plan an awesome beach wedding on the Central Coast.

coast weddings

Incredible Central Coast Wedding Venues

 

We have put together the ultimate guide for choosing your perfect Central Coast property for your wedding. This is probably the most important decision on your wedding planning journey and it will dictate everything about your wedding. We have shortlisted some of the best places on the coast. There are a variety of properties to choose from in this guide. From five-star resorts, farm properties, garden locations and weddings right on the beach. This guide is where you need to start